What are the steps to become DFARS compliant?

The increase in the cyber threats and concerns of cybersecurity lapses has made everyone anxious. To curb the escalating rate of cyber threats, the U.S Department of Commerce has issued DFARS or Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement to protect the U.S Department of Defense’s unclassified information. Under the DFARS regulation, all aerospace and defense companies are required to be compliant with the DFARS. Organizations are required to pass NIST SP 800-171 readiness assessment to become DFARS compliant. Since the newly issued regulations are complicated and the compliance process is also tricky, one should hireĀ a DFARS consultant.

In this blog, we have covered aspects related to DFARS compliance in detail.

Depending on the organization’s size, its current security status, and the availability of resources, the DFARS complaint process can take up to six to ten months.

How well an organization plans for the DFARS compliance is significant to its success. If you are in the process of making your organization DFARS compliant, you should start planning and gathering necessary resources in advance. Many organizations prefer hiring DoD contractors and specialists to perform the task.

Having a robust action plan can ensure your endeavors’ success and guarantee that your organization is secure from any cyber threats.

Step 1: Evaluate your company’s applicability.

When assessing your organization, you should introspect how your company can stay relevant to this time. One can identify where you currently stand by referring to the NIST SP 800-171 control list. This assessment also enables the organizations to understand which areas they need to work on to become DFARS compliant.

Besides this, you should;

  • Check all your contracts to understand essential clauses and provisions marked by the DFARS.
  • Determine which type of CUI or CDI applies to your organization.
  • Review applicability with the DoD contractor
  • Identify and define what computer paraphernalia falls under NIST 800-171 compliance.

Step 2: Prepare a Remedial Plan to protect your organization against DFARS non-compliance.

In this stage, the organization should contemplate where they stand in Security Status.

There are specific measures that you should put in place to be NIST 800-171 compliance. These measures include,

  • A thorough control gap analysis to understand the gap between the organization’s current security standing and the ultimate goal.
  • Developing solutions for the defects identified in the initial stage.
  • Ensuring the organization, subcontractors, and other business associates are on the same page and in the process towards DFARS complaint.

Step 3: Implementation of the Remediation Plan

With an effective plan of action, tracking the process becomes easy. With an actionable roadmap, you can be assured that you are going on the right track. This way, you can focus more on completing the process instead of worrying about penalties.

You should emphasize developing solutions to remedy the control gaps identified during the assessment stage.

After the completion of the remediation process, conduct testing to confirm everything is working efficiently.

Step 4: Monitoring and Follow-up

Besides the effective implementation of the Remediation plan, constant monitoring is crucial to ensure DFARS compliance. Establish a plan for how you will monitor your compliance. By developing a monitoring program with the help of reports, tools, etc., you can check if your organization is performing as per the NIST 800-171 guidelines or not.